‘Divas’ find spotlight in VH1 event

Apr 13, 2004 12:20 AM

There’s only one place to be Saturday night and that’s the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the annual "VH1 Divas" concert. This year’s lineup is spectacular: Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Jessica Simpson, Deborah Harry, Cyndi Lauper, Joss Stone, Ashanti, Eve, and especially for me, Tom Jones.

There will also be appearances by Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Tyra Banks, Sheila E., Vanessa Williams and The Pussy Cat Dolls featuring Carmen Electra (sounds like my kind of group). The great news is that we can all catch it free on VH1 at 6 p.m. Las Vegas time if you have cable.

No Doubt shifts from its arena dates to the intimacy of Rain at the Palms for a June 27 playdate. Tickets go on sale April 24 with no prices announced.

Just a thought: Most shows along the Strip ”” which caters to visitors and seem to forget about locals ”” save blocks of seats for ticket brokers at discount prices. Why not offer these seats to locals who can’t afford the astronomical ”” and building ”” tabs of the shows. The only two Strip shows that I know of that care about locals are Danny Gans (he offers two local shows at $25 per seat twice a year) and "Mystere" (it offers a special dinner package twice a year).

You’re going to find me in my finest threads poolside at the Palms Skin Pool Lounge May 21 rockin’ to the Godfather of Funk, George Clinton, and his group Funkadelic. If you have never scene Clinton, he’s one of a kind ”¦ like me!

The Palms continues to be the city’s one-of-a-kind casino resort. As part of its expansion the Maloof Brothers are adding a recording studio. Manager and TV producer Larry Rudolph (Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson) will team with the Maloofs to operate the studio.

As a respected journalist (in my own mind), I have a bloodhound instinct to sniff out a bargain for my local constituents and have I found one: The Kelly Clinton-hosted karaoke Monday night at the Bootlegger Bistro. Not only do you get some of the best sounding amateur singers (they bring their own music!), but you also get the pros having some after hour fun.

Kelly, the "Vegas Live!" television show announcer and segment host, gets things revved up about 10 o’clock with her great stories and awesome singing voice. Then, you never know who will show up ”¦ Clint Holmes, Frankie Scinta, Gladys Knight’s backup singers, Lance Burton, Cook E, Jarr, Sheena Easton and any celebrity who might be visiting in town. The best thing is there’s no cover and the booze and food are great.

I’ve lost a dear friend in 1960s pop singer Timi Yuro. She died recently of cancer at age 63. You might remember her hits: "Hurt," "What’s A Matter Baby," and "Make The World Go Away," among many others. Timi, I will miss you.

The Sacred Love Tour 2004 featuring Sting, Annie Lennox and Dominic Miller, will make a stop at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sept. 24 with a second date available the day before if it sells out.

Rod Stewart, whose high-priced Hard Rock ticket show was a fiasco, is coming down to earth for his MGM Grand date on Aug. 7. Ticket prices are a reasonable $75 to $125.

The "Dr. Vegas" series team, starring Rob Lowe, is in town for a couple of weeks shooting at Green Valley Station.

Mayor Oscar Goodman and his First Lady, Carolyn, will be the honorees for the 13th annual "Chefs for the Kids" fund-raiser at the Four Seasons on April 24.

Signature Productions is staging "My Fair Lady" at the Summerlin Library and Performing Arts Center on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through May 1.

Despite the success of "Mamma Mia!" with 11 productions playing around the world (including one at Mandalay Bay, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary) and six more due to open in the next 18 months, not even $2 billion could tempt ABBA back together again. The sight of the group’s outrageous stage outfits is enough to make its 58-year-old songwriter Bjorn Ulvaeus cringe nowadays, according to Reuters.

"It is never going to happen again, "Ulvaeus said. "I think it is a bit too long now. We split up in 1981. People haven’t seen us a group since then and it would come as such a disappointment to them."